Local Current Blog

Local Radar: Fire In The Northern Firs, Twin Cities Funk and Soul, and Echo Kid

Local Radar highlights bands that the local team at The Current is spinning heavily at their desks. You’ll be able to preview a track from each as well as hear them on The Local Show and Local Current.

Fire In The Northern Firs
If all was right in the world, bands would be recruiting Carin Barno left and right to sing on their records. The confident frontwoman of Fire In The Northern Firs sports a voice that is able to cut through the thick haze her bandmates create, and that happens while singing through an altered household telephone. How can she sound so crystal clear in one breath and distorted in the next? That fluidity alone makes Fire In The Northern Firs worthy of watching.

However, credit is due to the other three players: Scott Weller, Adam Kirsch and Shan David Kramer. With a simple set-up, they brilliantly commence the krautrock unleashing. Then we’re simultaneously thrown into the shoegaze world and post-punk by the next phrase – they seem to master whatever idea is stewing in their creative brains.

The reason why we need a fresh reminder of Fire in the Furs’ existence today is that their full-length debut is on the way. On September 22, we’ll see Bones and Things released. “Chatrooms” is without a doubt the standout of the record.

Stream: Fire In The Northern Firs – “Chatroomsfrom Bones and Things

Twin Cities Funk And Soul
One of the most anticipated releases of the fall comes courtesy of Secret Stash Records. This collective has really demanded that Minnesotans, and especially those in the Twin Cities, pay attention to the golden days of Midwest funk and soul. So when the news came that they were releasing the aptly named Twin Cities Funk and Soul compilation in September, the by-gone years sprung back onto the modern radar.

Spanning 1964 to 1979, this compilation digs deep, uncovering lost gems from The Valdons, Morris Wilson, Wee Willie Walker, Jackie Harris and The Exciters, and a slew of others over the length of 21 tracks. We’ve just gotten our hands on it, and you’ll be hearing it on the station more often in the coming weeks. And we’re also gearing up for some great festivities: a special funk and soul Local Show featuring players on the compilation as well as the Secret Stash founders on September 16. The release show happens September 22 at the Cedar and the compilation’s street date is September 25.

Here’s “Get Funky, Sweat A Little Bit” from Jackie Harris and The Exciters, originally released in 1969. The act opened for the likes of Ike and Tina Turner, The Temptations, and The Impressions while also backing Jimmy Reed, Al Green, and others.

Stream: Jackie Harris and The Exciters – “Get Funky, Sweat A Little Bit” from Twin Cities Funk And Soul

Echo Kid
We’ve started sifting through the numerous high-school band submissions received for the special “back-to-school” Local Show episode on September 2. Among the brightest and most mature stumble-upons has been Echo Kid, who just released debut album Only Silence at the beginning of the month.

“Runs Deep” is a five-and-a-half-minute exploration of house and dub music and a gorgeous tribute to those genres. It breathes courtesy of a soft interlude midway through the song, an often overlooked device when you want your beats loud and crazy like so many modern artists experimenting with this craft.

Echo Kid will be one of the focuses of the show in a few weeks and little information is known. Frank is 16 years old, plays the cello and piano and has been finessing his production skills for a couple of years. This guy is going to go places.

Stream: Echo Kid – “Runs Deep” from Only Silence